Irish Covid Tracker app now linked with Germany & Italy apps
Ireland’s contact-tracing app will now be interlinked with national apps from Italy and Germany. This will mean that people with the Irish app will receive an alert if they are a close contact with people who are diagnosed with Covid-19 and who have installed an approved EU member state app on their phone.
The EU-wide system – known as the interoperability gateway service – was developed by the European Commission (EC) and following a successful pilot was launched today (19 October). It consists of a digital infrastructure that transmits anonymised IDs between the backend servers of participating national contact tracing and warning apps.
Similar to the national apps, the anonymised IDs will only be stored in the gateway for up to 14 days. The EC confirmed that the individual apps only connect with their own national backend server and not with other nations.
The gateway was developed and set up by companies T-Systems and SAP, and is operated from the EC’s data centre in Luxembourg. While the gateway service will initially work with just three countries, the EC said that two thirds of the apps developed by EU member states are compatible.
‘So proud of what Ireland has achieved’
Once they are ready to connect, the number of interlinked apps are set to increase during this month and November, with other apps invited to connect at a later stage.
“I am so proud of what Ireland has achieved, being one of the first countries to interlink apps at an EU level with Germany and Italy,” said the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, TD.
“Ireland has consistently been a leader in the development of contact tracing apps and had one of the world’s most successful contact tracing app launches, with a huge uptake in the first 24 hours.”
He added: “While the general advice in Ireland is currently against non-essential travel overseas, this system will be of benefit for those undertaking essential travel to and from Ireland.”
So far, the app has had 2.1m registrations with an active user base of 1.31m, representing 34pc of Ireland’s population over the age of 16.